One Pot Chicken Saffron Rice with Peas, Olives and Pimenton is an easy weeknight meal that requires minimal work. The oven does the job for you.
One Pot Chicken Saffron Rice is a real classic Spanish treat. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, but you need only a little dash for this recipe. And the good news is that your local Trader Joe’s carries it for a very reasonable price.
For this One Pot Chicken Saffron Rice recipe I used Spanish olives stuffed with pimento peppers, but any green olives will work here. I also seasoned the chicken with Spanish smoked paprika (aka, Pimenton), which is my favorite spice of all. It has a kick (so a little bit goes a long way) but the aroma is incredible. All these combine to make for an amazing Spanish dish but Spanish from the old land of Europe. Mind you, it is in the spicing that this dish is differentiated from its Latin cousin.
The steps to follow are super simple and you can skip some of them if you are short of time.
- First I dry rub my chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, sweet smoked paprika and Spanish smoked paprika; and let it sit for a half hour in the fridge. If you are short of time, you can just season the chicken and cook it right away – searing both sides on a pan until golden brown.
- In the meantime you can heat up chicken stock in a separate pot and sprinkle saffron into it, so the chicken stock can get infused with it. This step is also optional.
- After the chicken is cooked you will need to take it out and remove most of the fat. Then add onions and cook until they’re translucent. Then add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then add rice and stir everything together.
- You then add the stock, and if you haven’t infused it with the saffron yet, now would be the time to add the saffron threads. Put the chicken back on the pan and transfer it to a preheated oven (450 degrees F). Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, add frozen peas, and cut up olives, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
This One Pot Chicken Saffron Rice dish reminds me of my trips to Spain when I was in my early twenties. I felt like whenever I crossed the Spanish boarder I could simply smell the smoked paprika wafting through the air. These Spanish flavors were intoxicating. I’d love to head back there someday soon. Alas, now that I’m living in US with two little boys (& 1 big boy) the logistics make European travel a bit more challenging. Yet I live vicariously through cuisine. For example, I can make this Mediterranean Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Beans and Olives, Pan Con Tomate or use this Romesco Sauce on my grilled meats, fish or veggies; and I feel as though I’m instantly transported.
If you want to alter this One Pot Chicken Saffron Rice recipe you can:
- Use different rice ( I used arborio because that’s the one I had and I also like the last of it);
- Use different part of the chicken, like skinless thighs or breast (keep in mind that if you use boneless chicken or chicken breasts, the meat will not be as moist and it’s easy to overcook it);
- You can skip the peas or replace them with any kind of canned beans;
- I used olives stuffed with pimentos, but any green olives will be good. You can even try different color of olives.
One Pot Chicken and Saffron Rice
- 4 pieces of chicken tights and drumsticks
- 1 onion Spanish, medium, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup rice rinsed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 0,5 grams saffron threads
- 1/4 cup peas frozen
- 1/4 cup olives green, halved
- 1 tbsp Italian parsley chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Smoked sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika hot
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 tbsp ghee or cooking oil
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, sweet smoked paprika, Spanish smoked paprika and garlic powder. Covered and refrigerate for half hour.
Heat up the ghee or oil in a oven proof skillet, add chicken skin side down and brown on each side for about 4 minutes.
Once the chicken is browned remove it from the skillet and set aside. Discard all but one tablespoon of the oil.
Add chopped onions to the skillet. Cook them until translucent for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime heat up chicken stock in a separate pot, add saffron threads and let them steep and heat up the oven to 450 degrees F.
Once the onions are cooked add garlic and cook for one minute.
Add rice and stir to combine.
Add the stock, mix everything together, place the chicken on top of the rice, skin side up and transfer the skillet to the oven
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the rice absorbs all the liquid and the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature is 165F).
Take the skillet from the oven and add peas and olives into the rice. Mix gently so the peas is covered and will cook in the rice. Cover and wait about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle parsley and serve. Enjoy.
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